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This is my third visit to Whoville, and the fourth visit for Reed Sigmund's Grinch. I was lucky enough to have lunch with the green one last week, as a special guest of CTC (scroll down for photos). We watched Reed transform into the Grinch before our eyes via red contacts, green make-up, and furry green suit. Reed was super friendly, especially with the curious children, but something happens when he completes the transformation to the Grinch. He becomes' gleefully mean, and the kids love it.
Below follows my review of the show from last year, which is virtually the same this year, with a few tweaks and additions just to keep things fresh and alive.
A CTC original adaptation of the Dr. Seuss classic (with book and lyrics by Timothy Mason and music by Mel Marvin), The Grinch premiered in 1994 before moving on to other stages, including Broadway. I first saw it 2014, when I wrote, "it's a bright and colorful, silly and funny, sweet and heart-warming tale of redemption and love." I'm happy to report this is still true, no matter how many times you've seen it. In a less than two-hour visit to Whoville, the show will make you laugh, warm your heart, and hopefully remind you of the real reason we celebrate any holiday - family, friends, and being together.
In this musical adaptation, the Grinch's story is told by his dog Max, who is now an old dog ready to move on from the cave in the mountain above Whoville. But first, he shares with the audience the remarkable transformation he witnessed. No mention is made of what has happened since that pivotal Christmas long ago, or where the Grinch is now, but it's a clever device that allows much of the original descriptive rhyming language to be used. Old Max remembers how disagreeable Grinch was when he was an eager young pup, and how he forced him to help steal Christmas from the Whos. The plan failed when the Whos woke up on Christmas day to find all their presents, decorations, and food gone, but still sang and made merry, filled with the joy of togetherness and the spirit of the holiday. The Grinch realized that perhaps Christmas is more than presents and roast beast, his heart grew three sizes, and the rest is history.
|the Grinch and Max steal Christmas|
(Reed Sigmund and Natalie Tran, phot by Dan Norman)
The rest of the cast is pretty great too. Natalie Tran returns as young Max, and is an adorably sweet and eager puppy. CTC company member Dean Holt is the older, wiser, slower dog, who narrates the story with nostalgia. The two often mirror each other's movements, showing the connection between them. The entire ensemble of children and grown-ups alike are so joyful and fun to watch as these oddly shaped and colorful creatures, and director Peter C. Brosius and choreographer Linda Talcott Lee keep everything moving smoothly in organized chaos. Last but not least, special mention must be made of Audrey Mojica (new this year) as the purest soul in Whoville, Cindy-Lou, the one who melts Mr. Grinch's heart (along with everyone in the audience).
How the Grinch Stole Christmas continues through January 6. Bring your little Whos for a fun and heart-warming holiday treat, or go by yourself - I've learned that it's OK for adults to go to the Children's Theatre by themselves. This Grinch is fun for adults, children, Whos, and furry green grumps.
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*To read about all of the holiday shows I've seen this year, click here.
PHOTOS FROM LUNCH WITH THE GRINCH (for more visit @cherryandspoon Instagram):
|Reed Sigmund applying green make-up|
|making Grinch faces|
|the Grinch with me and my fellow Twin Cities Theater Blogger|
Tracy from What Stirs Your Soul